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How can UK businesses approach international markets?

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In the recent years, business owners in the United Kingdom started to fully understand and appreciate the benefits their organisations can gain from approaching foreign markets and international consumers. In the era of globalisation and technology developments, even businesses from the SME sector can successfully compete with larger rivals on the global scene and expand their market share. Today, despite the political uncertainty associated with Brexit, UK based companies and organisations still seem to take the full advantage of globalisation, and by working closely with translation agencies, linguists and language experts specialising in cultural aspects of internationalisation, are able to successfully approach their chosen markets abroad.

Expanding a business aboard, although much easier than even only 20 or 30 years ago, still remains a complex and multifaceted process. Nowadays, the old-school ‘one-fits-all’ method simply doesn’t work any longer, and so companies must adapt processes and campaigns which are specifically tailored and targeted at a particular consumer group.

As shown by numerous studies, consumers are more likely to create a connection with a brand if the information about the company itself as well as their services is available to them in their native language. Indeed, language today is a core and key element of any successful campaign, and translation companies became important business partners to organisations from any sector as a result.

Translation trends

In order to find out more about the trends we could see within the translation industry last year, and to learn whether these have continued into 2019, we have contacted a senior project manager working for TS24, a leading translation services agency specialising in business and corporate translations. We questioned whether UK businesses tend to approach a particular market or whether this depends on their given sector. According to TS24 representative, the markets chosen to approach by their clients depend on their given business sectors, at least in majority of cases. UK companies also target fast developing countries, such as Brazil, China or India – where potential for growth is extremely high and so languages from these markets are still in high demand.

Regardless the market chosen and company’s sector, certain steps must always be taken in order to ensure effectiveness during the internationalisation process.

Translate digital channels

The company’s digital presence is a key part when approaching international markets and customers. The company’s website, most of the time, will be the primary point of contact between the business itself and a potential customer, and so creating a professional and lasting first impression can truly matter, especially when targeting consumers abroad.

One of the most important aspects of creating such impression is to allow the website’s visitors to read information about products and services in their native language. In addition, a website must also be carefully localised so that other aspects, such as date or currency, are adjusted for the potential customers and their preferences too.

As more than 70% of respondents claim to be more likely to commit to a purchase if the information on a website is available in their native language, by translating your site and other digital channels, such as social media or email campaigns, your company will be able to significantly increase conversion rates.

Trans-create marketing materials

As previously mentioned, the on-fits-all approach is no longer effective. Today, although aware of global trends and affected by international tendencies, consumers still prefer to be approached in a tailored and market-specific manner.

By translating, trans-creating and localising your marketing campaigns, you will be able to connect with such audiences and create a professional brand image. Whether it’s leaflets, TV commercials or even business cards – it’s important to ensure that a unique experience is created for the consumer, which will consequently allow you to acquire new, international consumers.

Translating marketing materials often consists of much more than simply conveying the language. Some markets, especially in Asia, are very attentive to their social structures. As a result, it’s often essential for a transcreation agency to re-create the campaign by altering text, colours and images without affecting the campaign’s intended message.

Understand the consumer

Before creating any type of content for the potential customers, it’s key to firstly understand who your potential customers actually are. Although this sounds obvious, a number of businesses focus on competitors and the chosen market itself, forgetting to assess the consumers.

From country to country and even market to market consumer behaviours will vary. Different stimuli will affect the consumers depending on their particular needs and experiences and so it’s essential to fully understand what those factors actually are.

Working with professional linguists and agencies can usually guarantee that your company’s materials and documents will be translated in a culturally suitable way, creating a positive brand image and attracting new customers as a result.   Consumer behaviour, although easily affected by international trends and fashions, remains unchanged across different markets in many aspects.

According to a number of recent surveys, customers abroad are more likely to identify with your brand and commit to a purchase if approached on a personal and individual level. As a result, tailored marketing campaigns are an industry standard.

Language, for many, is one of the most important aspect of such tailored campaigns and so working with translation agencies is no longer a necessity, but a preferred solution during an international expansion.




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